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Press Release – Leading marine experts from the Caribbean and the UK are joining up this week at a three-day workshop aiming to support the sustainable growth of marine economies in the region.
In the Caribbean region, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are set to benefit from the Commonwealth Marine Economies (CME) programme workshop.
The marine workshop, hosted by the British High Commission in Kingston Jamaica, is being attended by senior-level representatives from governments, regional agencies, external science agencies, academia and key donors.
The initiative is part of the UK Government funded CME programme, and follows on from similar consultation events held in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.
Discussions will focus on what and how shared expertise, collaboration and co-ordination with existing regional projects can best help achieve sustainable blue growth.
Key themes to be addressed will include the opportunities and challenges Caribbean states face in developing their marine economies, including strengthening food security; enabling blue economies, safeguarding the marine environment; and supporting marine resilience.
The CME Programme was announced by the United Kingdom Government at the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to provide technical support, services and expertise to Commonwealth Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Coastal States in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific. The aim of this support is to promote safe and sustainable economic growth and alleviate poverty by harnessing maritime resources, preserving marine environments and facilitating trade.
David Fitton, UK High Commissioner, Jamaica said:
“The marine environment in the Caribbean is uniquely rich in biodiversity, economic potential and cultural importance. With these opportunities, come immense challenges of poverty, environmental degradation and food security. The UK seeks to increase prosperity by helping harness maritime resources and preserve the marine environment.
“This Programme plays an important part in this aim. Through data collection, knowledge-sharing and training, we aim to enable the sustainable development of marine economies in this region and the wider Commonwealth.”
The Programme is being delivered on behalf of the UK Government by a partnership of world-leading UK government marine expertise: the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO), the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC).
A region-wide project, involving Caribbean and UK climate change experts, has been under way since last April. The project aims to produce a Marine Climate Change Report Card – a regional evaluation of the impact of climate change on the marine environment.
Cefas project lead and workshop delegate, Paul Buckley said:
“This the first time ever that experts in the Caribbean and the UK have worked together to co-ordinate existing knowledge on coastal and marine climate change impacts on Caribbean SIDS. It is clear from our knowledge sharing, that the economic impacts of climate change pose a severe challenge to the low-lying SIDS of the Caribbean. This work aims to help inform national and collaborative decision-making to help mitigate and manage the risks of marine climate change in the region.”
Other projects in the Eastern Caribbean include Sustainable Aquaculture and Fisheries in St Lucia, hydrographic surveying in St Vincent and Grenada and Radar Technology Tide Gauges and Training in St Lucia and elsewhere in the Eastern Caribbean.
Credit: St. Lucia Times
The European Commission announces its 3rd Global Event ‘Innovative and effective approaches to climate change adaptation and other post COP21 agreement priorities’, to be held, on 12-13-14 September 2016 in Brussels, Belgium.
The Agenda 2030 with the SDGs and the COP21 Paris Agreement on climate change provide a new strategic framework for international cooperation. Consequently, the GCCA+ plans to contribute strategically, financially and technically, over the period 2016-2020, to the efforts of LDCs and SIDS parties to address these challenges.
A year after the launch of the GCCA+, and as experiences from the GCCA, other programmes and the recent COP21 Paris Agreement accumulate across the globe, it is important that the GCCA+ ensures that lesson learning is an integral part of the development process and that knowledge generated from its implementation is shared across countries and regions and with key stakeholders and development partners. The GCCA+ Global Learning Event will explore how experience on the ground influences policy development and vice-versa on local, national and international scales.
The aim of the GCCA+ GLE2016 will be to share past GCCA and current GCCA+ best practices and challenges to scaling-up and increasing impacts amongst beneficiaries and potential donors;to present recent and updated climate strategies and examples across various development sectors and actors such as on INDCs, NAPs, engagement with new stakeholders, new tools and approaches and to extract conclusions for the GCCA+.
The GCCA+ GLE2016 will discuss more specifically the following four topics:
- How could the INDCs be effectively linked to the other climate change policy processes (e.g., NAPA, NAPs, National Communications)?
- How to increase the social benefits of climate change policies and interventions (e.g. Number of beneficiaries, dissemination of best practices, etc.)?
- Linking gender, poverty and climate change mainstreaming – challenges and opportunities.
- Risk management solutions and tools (climate models, risk assessments, insurance schemes, adapted technologies, etc.) as a response to the adverse effects of climate change.
European Delegation representatives, implementing partners, governmental bodies, non-state actors from academia, NGOs and the private sector working in the GCCA+ targeted countries with direct applied knowledge are all invited to submit proposals strictly focusing on these four topics and reporting practical experiences or studies showing the path towards a successful implementation of the Paris Agreement on these matters in Less Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The submissions can be presented in multiples forms and media such as papers, posters, presentations, videos, etc. All submissions should include the following information as a common basis for selection: Clear title; Geographical scope (regional, national, sub-national); Sector(s); Stakeholder(s) involved; Result(s); Lesson(s) learnt.
Submissions will be judged on the following criteria: (1.) relevance to one or more of the four topics; (2.) contribution to the implementation of the Paris Agreement; (3.) potential for duplication, scaling up and impact, and (4.) innovative power of idea, relevance of area, and potential for impact.
Accepted submissions will be presented at one of the thematic sessions on day 1 and day 2 or during the open space session of day 3 (1/2 day). These submissions as well as others of value to the GCCA+ and that would not have been presented will also feature in the GLE2016 publication.
The key dates are as follows:
- Deadline for submission of concept (one pager): 15th June 2016
- Notification to selected submissions: 30th June 2016
- Deadline for submission of full paper/poster/presentation/video/etc.: 31st July 2016
- Deadline for the submission of revised paper/poster/presentation/video/etcS.: 31st August 2016.
Interested parties are asked to submit a proposal addressing one or more of the four topics selected for the GLE2016 and to submit proposals by the 15th of June 2016, by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamaica’s Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, has described climate change as a “real and present danger” that will persist, and “critical and urgent action” must be taken by nations globally to reduce its effects.
“We are now facing a future that almost certainly will be hotter, wetter and drier due to climate change. We will continue to experience increasing temperatures as well as more frequent and intense weather events, such as hurricanes, drought and floods,” he said.
The Minister was speaking at a forum at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, on March 23 to mark World Meteorological Day, under the theme: ‘Hotter, Drier, Wetter – Face the Future’.
Mr. Vaz said the view expressed by some interests that climate change and environmental issues “only affect some of us, and is a problem for the distant future,” is a “misconception.”
“When temperatures soar to record levels, as they did during much of last year, it is not a few who feel the heat, but all of us. When drought ravages our crops and there are outbreaks of bush fires, we all pay higher prices at the market,” he noted.
Additionally, Mr. Vaz said when floods, resulting from hurricanes or intense rainfall, damage roads and other infrastructure, “the country stands the cost of rebuilding.”
“There is little wonder, therefore, that more Ministries within the Caribbean region are including climate change within their portfolio responsibilities,” he noted.
In this regard, Mr. Vaz commended the Meteorological Service of Jamaica (MSJ) for being at the forefront of climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.
“Your members have been very vocal on the international scene in championing the cause of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), like Jamaica, which are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change…which highlights our true inter-dependence,” he said.
The forum was jointly staged by the Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change II (Ja REEACH II) Project and the MSJ.
It featured a panel discussion on the theme: ‘Hotter, Wetter, Drier – The Jamaican Context’, with climate change presentations by representatives of state agencies and academia, as well as an exhibition.
Ja REEACH is a four-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and jointly implemented with the Government of Jamaica.
It aims to safeguard agricultural and natural resource-based livelihoods, in order to improve institutional capacity to successfully adapt, mitigate and manage the effects of climate change.
World Meteorological Day is observed globally each year to promote sustainable development and to tackle climate change through the provision of the best available science and operational services for weather, climate, hydrology, oceans and the environment.
Credit: Jamaica Information Service
“CARICOM’s interests were strongly represented in a focused and coordinated manner by heads of government, ministers, the CARICOM secretary-general (Irwin LaRocque)and his staff, and a team of experienced and skilled negotiators led by Dr the Honourable James Fletcher. We are satisfied that our strong advocacy helped to ensure that the [final] agreement reflected the region’s position on our major red-line issues,” Stuart, who is also prime minister of Barbados, said in a release issued by the CARICOM Secretariat through Panos Caribbean.
“The region’s successful campaign, built around the slogan ‘1.5 to Stay Alive’, received energetic support from several groups and organisations, including youth and cultural artistes, whose efforts must be applauded,” added Stuart.
The campaign kicked off in October with a launch event held in St Lucia. At the same time, a website, Facebook page, and Twitter account were established to promote Caribbean negotiating positions and to expose the region’s climate challenges.
Later, a theme song – the collaborative effort of a number of regional acts – was released.
Several other activities, including a Selfie Video Challenge and a flash mob, were also implemented to get Caribbean people in the know and behind the campaign effort.
At the talks, the region, for the first time, had a pavilion – called the Wider Caribbean Pavilion – that afforded the space for strategy meetings by regional negotiators and networking among players.
Caribbean artistes Aaron Silk of Jamaica and Adrian ‘The Doc’ Martinez of Belize were also on hand to spread, through music, the ‘1.5 To Stay Alive’ message, and were big hits with participants.
In the end, Stuart said it all paid off.
“We believe that the actions and investment approved in the agreement will bring us closer to the goal of maintaining global average temperature rise well below two degrees Celsius and along a clear trajectory downwards towards 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels,” he said.
“That agreement will also help to realise the goals of lower greenhouse gas emissions, greater resilience, and sustainable development, especially among the small-island and low-lying coastal developing states (SIDS), with the most vulnerable populations such as the countries of the Caribbean. We determinedly and successfully promoted recognition of the special circumstances and vulnerabilities of SIDS, which are among the lowest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, but are the most threatened by climate change,” Stuart added.
One Jamaican actor involved in the negotiations agreed that the Caribbean could feel satisfied with the result.
“The CARICOM region can be satisfied with the outcome, which retains the recognition under the (United Nations Framework) Convention (on Climate Change), of the fact that SIDS have specific needs and face special circumstances which render our territories particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. We have also secured a decision for equal funding for adaptation and mitigation,” noted Colonel Oral Khan, a member of the Jamaica delegation to Paris and chief technical director in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change.
“This is very significant for us as the science is telling us that the concentration of greenhouse gases is already at a level that can be catastrophic. We, therefore, cannot await the benefits from current mitigation efforts, which will be realised over the next half a century. There are things we must do now to protect vital sectors of our economy and the lives of our people,” he added.
What remains is to have these things actioned.
“The international community must now retain the energising and uplifting spirit of Paris in the process going forward. The world expects no less,” Stuart said.
Credit: Jamaica Gleaner
Guyana signed a readiness grant agreement with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris on Tuesday, December 08, 2015. The funding will provide USD 300,000 to Guyana to help the country build capacity to access GCF funding for its priority projects in the future.
This project, which was negotiated between the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC or 5C) and the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea of Italy, aims to address several issues affecting CARICOM States under the rubric of Climate Change, inclusive of mitigation, adaptation and vulnerability. The 5Cs is an Accredited Entity (AE) to the Fund, meaning that it can partner with GCF in delivering mitigation and adaptation projects on the ground in the Caribbean.
Executive Director of the 5Cs, Dr. Kenrick Leslie attended the ceremony along with H.E. Raphael Trotman, Minister of Governance of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, who signed on behalf of Guyana in the presence of H.E. Winston Jordan, the Guyanese Minister of Finance. Ousseynou Nakoulima, Director of Country Programming, signed on behalf of the Fund.
The GCF aims to help CARICOM Member States to adapt to climate change, by lessening their vulnerability to sea level rise and climate variability; identifying and implementing the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs); reporting and assessing of the Member States INDCs and the development and dissemination of renewable energy sources and technology.
According to iNews Guyana, “Francesco La Camera, Director General of the Ministry of Environment of Italy, signed a €6 million project to assist CARICOM Member States to mitigate climate variability and change.”
The GCF also seeks to transfer scientific and technical knowledge, experiences and technology, facilitate the exchange of experts, scientists and researchers; enhance the capacities for the implementation of mechanisms under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its related instruments, and to promote joint ventures between the private sectors of the Parties.
The Fund provides early support for readiness and preparatory activities to enhance country ownership and access through its country readiness programme. A minimum of 50 per cent of readiness support is targeted at Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Guyana, Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and African States.
More than 95 countries have so far expressed interest in receiving readiness support from the Fund, and more than 30 such grants have been approved to date.
The estimated timeframe for the project is five years. Minister Trotman thanked the Government and People of Italy for their continued support and friendship shown towards the people of Guyana and the Caribbean.
Credit: iNews Guyana, Green Climate Fund
The Caribbean region is enduring the brunt of the ravaging effects of climate change. Sea level rise, frequent and intense natural hazards; extended dry seasons, loss of livelihood and the very disappearance of some of our islands are among the clear and present dangers that we face. The economic costs of climate change are beyond the capacity of these countries to bear without the provision of considerably more concessionary resources to address the impacts. This is why it is so important that our global partners support the call to limit warming to below 1.5C. This is achievable. This is urgent. Our very survival depends on it.
This video was produced by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The CDB is a regional financial institution which was established by an Agreement signed on October 18, 1969, in Kingston, Jamaica, and entered into force on January 26, 1970. The Bank came into existence for the purpose of contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of the member countries in the Caribbean and promoting economic cooperation and integration among them, having special and urgent regard to the needs of the less developed members of the region.
“Combatting climate change, promoting sustainable development and addressing the vulnerabilities of SIDS will demand partnership, capacity and leadership,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who recalled that the SAMOA Pathway is here “to guide us.”
Last year’s Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa increased global attention on their contributions to sustainable development – but also on their unique vulnerabilities, Mr. Ban reminded to the Council members, who were meeting for an unprecedented debate about the situation of these countries.
From traditional armed conflict to transnational crime and piracy, illicit exploitation of natural resources, climate change and climate-related natural disasters and uneven development, small island developing States face a range of peace and security challenges, according to the concept note provided by New Zealand, which holds the rotating Presidency of the Security Council for the month of July.
Caribbean SIDS, for example, are vulnerable to drug-trafficking and gang-related violence, noted the Secretary-General, while unreported and unregulated fishing undermine local economies. Through its Maritime Crime Programme, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime is actively engaged to help these countries in these areas.
“Taken together with the broader vulnerabilities faced by many of these States communities, these challenges can disproportionately affect national stability, fuel conflict across regions and ultimately have an impact on the maintenance of international peace and security,” adds the Security Council concept note.
For the Secretary-General, the first priority must be to support these States in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
“Second, we need a post-2015 development agenda and sustainable development goals that address the needs of SIDS,” he continued.
At the recent Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, which took place from July 13 to 16, it was encouraging that the concerns of [that group of countries] were reflected, including in critical areas such as debt, trade, technology and Official Development Assistance, Mr. Ban noted.
“Third, we need a meaningful and universal global climate agreement in Paris in December,” stressed the UN chief, as small island developing States are on the front lines of climate change.
“Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu is only the latest in a long string of devastation that SIDS have endured and will continue to endure as long as climate change is not adequately addressed,” he warned, underscoring that Caribbean countries sometimes experience as many as five hurricanes in a season.
Rising sea levels, dying coral reefs and the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters exacerbate the conditions leading to community displacement and migration, threatening to increase tensions over resources and affect domestic and regional stability, the Secretary-General went on to say.
“Leading by example,” many of these countries have been accelerating their own transition to renewable energy to secure a sustainable energy future. But, to support SIDS in their actions to combat climate change and adapt to its impacts, “a politically credible trajectory for mobilizing the pledged $100 billion dollars per year by 2020” is needed, he explained.
The Green Climate Fund will need to be up and running before the Climate Conference in Paris in December, but a “meaningful, universal climate agreement” must be adopted, concluded the Secretary-General.
Credit: UN News Centre